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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Is US Maing A Mistake Arming Sunnis Against ISIS? We Believe So!

Author(s):  Kristina Wong
Source:     Article date: May 27th, 2015

The Pentagon has plans to provide military equipment to Sunni tribal fighters, a Defense spokeswoman said on Wednesday, a shift from its current policy to provide the equipment only through the central government in Baghdad.
The new plans come after Sunni tribal fighters faced an embarrassing defeat by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) last week in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province. Fighters complained that they had not received payment or any U.S. military equipment from the central government.
“The Sunni Tribal units affiliated with the Iraqi government are currently trained by the Iraqi Security Forces and equipped by the Government of Iraq but there are plans to provide equipment directly to tribal fighters in the future, with the approval and coordination of the GOI [Government of Iraq],” said Pentagon spokeswoman Navy Cmdr. Elissa Smith in a statement.
Pentagon officials also confirmed the Sunni tribal fighters in Ramadi had not received any training from the U.S.-led train and equip program, a linchpin of the Obama administration's strategy to allow Iraqi forces to take on ISIS fighters on the ground and supplant the need for U.S. troops.
And although Congress approved a $1.6 billion Iraq Train and Equip Fund in December to provide weapons and equipment to the Iraqi Security Forces, including Sunni tribal fighters, it was unclear whether any of it had made it to Sunni forces who fought in Ramadi.
The U.S. has left the tasks of training and equipping Sunni forces up to the Shiite-dominated central government, in an effort to bolster the central government and get the two rival ethnic groups to overcome sectarian mistrust and tension.
However, administration officials in recent days have expressed that training and weapons to the Sunni fighters need to move faster.
Lawmakers have also called for the administration to equip Sunni fighters directly, and have threatened to withhold assistance from Baghdad unless it is distributed appropriately among the different minority groups in Iraq.
The U.S. has already distributed $400 million of the $1.6 billion fund, and another $566 million is scheduled to be released soon. A total of $1.24 billion is slated to go to Iraqi security forces, $354 million is slated to go to Kurdish peshmerga forces, and $24 million is slated to go to Sunni tribal fighters.
The fund pays for weapons, vehicles, medical equipment, body armor and other military equipment for the Iraqi forces.
So far, the equipment has gone to four coalition training sites, where it is accounted for by U.S. and coalition forces and then handed over to Iraqi officials, who then decide who to distribute it to. It is unclear whether any of equipment has reached Sunni tribal forces, although an Iraqi government spokesman insisted they have been provided with arms.
Pentagon officials say, so far, 7,000 government forces and Kurdish peshmerga have been trained and another 3,000 to 4,000 are going through the training pipeline. A senior State Department official said last week that somewhere in the “mid-thousands” of Sunni fighters have already received or are receiving training. 

American Youth Have Little Interest In Politics. What Does That Mean For The Country's Future?

What do young Americans think about politics? LOL, not much

Getty Images
Next week is graduation at my university, and high schools will be holding commencement ceremonies over the next month. While speakers will implore seniors to "make a difference in the world" and "give back," almost none of these student will take this to mean running for office. New research on U.S. high school and college students demonstrates the dire state of a life in politics. In short, the future looks bleak for future generations of officeholders, and maybe even for the democracy.
Jennifer L. Lawless and Richard L. Fox, in Running from Office: Why Young Americans Are Turned Off to Politics, conducted surveys of over 4,000 younger Americans. What they find is that their respondents rarely think, talk or consider politics. While many seem to care about the world, this infrequently translates to running for office or aspirations to work in politics. Consider:
  • Just 11 percent of respondents said that they had thought about running office "many times" while 61 percent said they "never" considered it.
  • Asked if various jobs paid the same, just 13 percent of respondents said they would want to be a member of Congress, versus 37 percent who chose business executive and 27 percent school principal; only 19 percent indicated that a future goal was to become a political leader.
  • Just 9 percent of respondents said that their parents would want them to pursue a job as a member of Congress, compared to around 50 percent for owning a business.
While these figures are shocking, perhaps they're not surprising. The research, though, is even more eye-opening when these attitudes are connected to other behaviors. Politics has a tiny part to play in the daily lives of younger Americans.
  • Just over a quarter (27 percent) of high-school students in the study indicated that they had taken a government or political science class.
  • A large majority (65 percent) of high-school students indicated that their classmates had little or no interest in politics; and less than a fifth (17 percent) of younger Americans discussed politics with their friends.
  • With all respect to, only 27 percent of young Americans visit political websites for information.
Interestingly, these findings hold for the most part across racial and gender lines. While truly damning, there are some hopeful dimensions of the research. Lawless and Fox find that younger Americans who:
  • Talked about politics frequently with friends were much more likely (33 percent) to have political ambitions compared those who didn't talk about politics with friends (6 percent).
  • Had parents who encouraged a life in politics were more likely to consider running (28 percent) compared to those with parents who did not encourage (between 6 and 7 percent).
  • Visited political websites were much more likely to have political ambitions (28 percent) compared to those who did not visit political websites (4 percent).
High schools and colleges can require more students to take courses in government and can stimulate debates about politics with special events and speakers, and parents can lead discussions of current events. All of this would likely encourage more students to consider running for office, but many will be frustrated by the aspects of politics that drive all Americans away. Less corruption, less money in politics and less dysfunction may be merely the wishful thinking of commencement speakers, but each should be a part of a serious conversation about how to bring younger Americans back into the political fold.
Brown is assistant professor of public policy at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, and the author of the forthcoming Tea Party Divided: The Hidden Diversity in a Maturing Movement (Praeger, 2015).

Muslims Tell Us What They Want--Shariah.

The Cedar Riverside section of Minneapolis is home to the University of Minnesota, some tasty ethnic foods and brutally cold winters. It’s also a known hotbed of Islamic terror recruitment.
Al-Shabab, the Islamist group based in Somalia, has had a field day there over the past six or seven years.
Dozens of young Muslims have left the streets of Cedar Riverside, referred to by some Minnesotans as “Little Mogadishu” for its high concentration of Somali refugees, to travel abroad and fight for terrorist groups. Some have joined Somalia’s notorious al-Shabab, which slaughtered 147 Christians at a university in Kenya last month, while others have opted for ISIS in Syria. Their goal is the same – to join their brothers in the fight to establish a Shariah-compliant utopia known as a caliphate.
But one would expect those who walk the streets of this quiet neighborhood to be a bit less fanatical in their views, right?
Let the questions begin
On Friday a camera crew with the David Horowitz Freedom Center released a video posted to Robert Spencer’s blog, Jihad Watch, in which documentary filmmaker Ami Horowitz interviews Somali men and women on the streets of Cedar Riverside.
Their answers to questions about Islamic law, American law and issues of peace and freedom were revealing.
Several of the Muslim men told the interviewer it was “easy” to be Muslim in America. They said persecution was non-existent. They’re free to worship as they please.
One Somali-American stood out from the rest.
“This is a free country; that’s the beauty of it. We love America, it’s a great country, freedom of choice, freedom of religion, so we don’t have any issues,” said the neatly dressed man with a sport coat and tie.
Things devolved from there.
One young man with dark sunglasses and a big smile, followed by another in a plaid dress shirt, and another with long hair stuffed under a Brooklyn Nets baseball cap, all said they would prefer to live under Islamic law rather than American law.
“I’m a Muslim. I prefer Shariah law,” the man in the dress shirt said.
“Shariah law, yes,” said another.
“Of course, yeah,” said the one in the Nets baseball cap.
Asked if most of his friends felt the same way, he responded, “Of course if you’re a Muslim, yeah.”
A woman wearing a pink hijab and traditional dress was asked if it’s OK for a father to make his young daughter marry a man of his choice.
“Yeah, yeah, he can, he can. He has the authority, you know, yeah, to do that.”
“How young do you think it is OK?” the interviewer asked.
“Ah, yeah, 15,” she answered.
The youngest person interviewed, a boy who appeared no more than 14 or 15, said it was easy to be a Muslim in his local school. He said he did not experience any persecution being a Muslim in Minneapolis.
He said he would prefer Shariah, however, because it was a much “tighter” society and, therefore, less prone to crime.
“Shariah law, it says that if you steal something, they cut off your hand,” the boy said, making a cutting motion with one hand against the other. “So, basically, they can leave their doors open. Nobody’s going to steal anything because Shariah is so tight. Usually, they don’t do anything. The smallest things usually have big consequences.
Blaspheming the ‘prophet’
Then the questions turned to Islamic blasphemy laws and the controversy with people depicting the Muslim “prophet” Muhammad in cartoons.
“How does that whole thing make you feel?” the interviewer asked.
“That really pisses me off, you know what I mean. I mean, they know it is a button to push,” said the young man in the baseball cap.
“It makes me angry,” said the man in the sunglasses. “Everyone gets like the big freedom. And then, they don’t see that, the freedom that they’re getting is causing a problem. And causing hatreds for other people.”
Would it be better if we made it illegal in America to make fun of the prophet Muhammad?
“Definitely yeah,” he said.
“So in a way, they kind of deserve whatever happens to them?” he is asked.
“Yeah, yeah, every action has a consequence,” the young man in the ball cap said.
“Do you think we should make a law that makes it illegal?”
“That would be better, yeah, that would be better,” said the man in the plaid dress shirt. “To stop, you know, aggression.”
‘I was so upset, so mad’
Then came another Somali man with a beard and a jacket. He was more animated than the others.
“I was so upset, and I was so mad. They insulted our religion. They insulted our prophet, and we couldn’t take it,” he said, shaking his fist and flailing his arms.
“And you shouldn’t be allowed to do that?” the interviewer asked.
“Oh my God, big time, yes!” he answered.
They were then asked if they understood the motivation of people who struck back violently against such depictions of the prophet.
“Yeah, I understand totally where they’re coming from, yeah,” said the young man in the ball cap.
‘Is it right to kill someone who insults the prophet?’
“Yes,” said the bearded man with the animated personality. “Because when you, every day you face frustration. And you know, every day you have, uh, you’re mad, or somebody says that, and you feel hate your soul. You could do anything you wanted. If you committed suicide, you don’t care, because your heart, your heart is telling you, ‘I don’t want to live no more,’ because you couldn’t take that much hate. Or you, you kill someone.”
The interviewer got even more to the point with a reference to Pamela Geller, who hosted the cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, earlier this month that was attacked by two Muslim men.
“Is it right to kill someone who insults Muhammad?”
“Yeah,” said the woman in the pink hijab. “Because she is just, she had her religion, I understand, but she shouldn’t pick on the prophet, you know.”
“So you understand why people would want to attack her?”
“Yeah,” the woman stated.
Would you rather live in America or Somalia?
The interviewer asked one final question: If they had a choice, would the Somalis rather live in America or back in Somalia?
“I’d rather to live a Muslim country with my people,” the young man with the Brooklyn Nets cap said without hesitation. “I’m not Americanized. I just speak fluent (English) and I’m articulate, and I can articulate what I’m trying to say. That’s about it. But as far as that my culture and my preferences and everything, it’s still Somali, you know what I mean?”
“I would rather live in Somalia,” said the man in the sunglasses.
“For me, I think Somalia,” said the woman in the pink hijab.
‘We have a terror recruitment problem in Minnesota’
U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Andrew Luger, at April press conference said Minnesota "has a terror recruitment problem" involving the local Somali population but didn't say how the Somalis got to Minnesota.
U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Andrew Luger, at April press conference said Minnesota “has a terror recruitment problem” involving the local Somali population but didn’t say how the Somalis got to Minnesota.
The U.S. State Department has distributed about 100,000 Somali Muslims into cities across America since 1991 as part of its refugee resettlement program. In Minnesota, the resettlements, paid for with U.S. tax dollars, have been carried out by Lutheran Social Services, Catholic Charities and World Relief under contract with the federal government.
Andrew Luger, the U.S. attorney for Minnesota, admitted last month following the arrests of six Somali men from his state on charges that they repeatedly tried to book and board flights to join up with ISIS in Turkey and Syria, “We have a terror recruitment problem in Minnesota.”
But in the eyes of some Somalis in Minneapolis, it’s clearly not terrorism to kill someone for criticizing their prophet. It’s just part of being Muslim.
They are taking serious the advice of Omar Ahmad, founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. Speaking before a packed crowd at the Flamingo Palace on Peralta Boulevard in Fremont, California, in 1998, he urged American Muslims not to shirk their duty of sharing the Islamic faith with those who are “on the wrong side.”
WND reported in 2003 that the newspaper reporter who covered the CAIR event that night, Lisa Gardiner, paraphrased Ahmad’s message by writing, “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith but to become dominant.”
Gardiner’s article, appearing in the Argus of Fremont, stands to this day as one of the most stark displays of Islamist intentions by CAIR, whose leaders typically choose their words more carefully when they know a reporter is present.
Muslim institutions, schools and economic power should be strengthened in America, Ahmad said. Those who stay in America should be “open to society without melting (into it),” keeping mosques open so anyone can come and learn about Islam, he said.
“If you choose to live here (in America) … you have a responsibility to deliver the message of Islam,” he told the Muslim crowd.
The Quran, the Muslim holy book, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth, he said.


There's More To The Hastert Story Than Meets The Eye.

Dershowitz on Hastert Indictment: 'This Case Just Smells'

Friday, 29 May 2015 08:15 PM
By Cathy Burke

Dershowitz noted the federal "structuring statutes" Hastert is accused of breaking "were intended to prevent money laundering, to prevent drug dealing, to prevent income tax evasion. "

"Paying hush money is not illegal," Dershowitz said. "He didn't want anybody to know about it, so he took money out in small amounts and the banks wouldn't report it. That is not within the heartland of what this statute was intended to cover – and then to have an indictment which essentially reveals that which Hastert was trying to conceal puts the government in the position of essentially being part of the blackmail – and it's just not right."

Dershowitz called the case "an abusive prosecutorial discretion" for using the structuring statute "to try to go after somebody who was trying to solve a rather personal problem...."

And, he predicted, the feds won't win this one.

"When they go after politicians, whether it be Tom DeLay or … several other of these high-profile cases, they lose them all," he said. "I suspect they're going to lose this one."

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With Crime Stats Up And Domestic Terrorism On The Rise, Its Time To Lock And Load

Charlie Daniels Doubles Down on Newsmax TV

Friday, 29 May 2015 05:27 PM
By Cathy Burke

Doubling down on his advice to Americans to "lock and load" in defense against jihadi terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, Grammy winning rocker Charlie Daniels charges it's better to be "defensive and ready" than to wait for an unwilling president to act.

In an interview with Newsmax Hard Line host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Friday, Daniels warned that America is "faced with a situation that is not going to go away."

"No amount of placating, no amount of whatever bended over backwards, whatever is done, is going to satisfy the people who want to destroy us," he said. "They are here and motivated by forces that are beyond our control. These people want to kill us."

Daniels struck a chord with Americans in a commentary on his website triggered by the terror attack in Garland, Texas, May 3, blasting President Barack Obama and Muslims – and declaring: "Lock and load America, trouble is on the way."

He told Newsmax TV he's holding firm to the admonition, saying, "People that live in my world are not going to stand by and watch their neighborhoods overrun with terrorists and not do anything about it."

"The point I'm making is you don't have to be offensive, but be defensive and ready because this is coming and we have a president who is not willing to dig deep enough to do anything about it and until we get somebody who is, you better be ready to defend yourself," he said.

Daniels said his remarks, however, aren't meant to be taken that people should "go out and start waving a gun around everybody that comes walking down the street."

"Don't go looking for trouble in other words," he said. "If you don't like the way somebody looks, that's not an excuse enough to be offensive about it. In other words, defend. Do not offend, but defend. … What I'm speaking about it is watch your property and your people."
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Daniels blamed Obama for creating a "dangerous time in America."

"I am never ashamed of America, but there are times when I am so disappointed in what our president does or does not do," he said. "In the period of time he's been in office, we have seen such setbacks in American domestic and foreign policy. It's going to take decades to overcome."

"It's a very dangerous time in America for us because he'll take that pen and do everything he can get away with. It's up to Congress to stop him."

The singer also defended an Iraq war veteran who posted photos of himself online wearing a T-shirt with the slogan "F*** Islam" on it and waving the U.S. flag.

"Provocation is not the problem here," he said.

"We're going to provoke these people no matter what unless we all lay down and die or convert to Islam," he said. "There's no other way to make these people happy… I would not disrespect somebody that much, but that's the point I'm making. Be sensible, but if that's what he wants to do, he has a right to do it. Absolutely."

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